320 JOURNEYS IN KURDISTAN LETTER sxis
testimony of a neutral observer may be useful and help-
ful. At all events the risk is worth running. My
great difficulty is that Qasha-------must leave me here
to return to Urmi with Mar Gauriel's escort, and that I
have no competent man with me in case of difficulty.
Mirza not only does not speak Turkish, but has no " back-
bone," and Johannes, besides having the disadvantage
of being an Armenian, is really half a savage, as well
as disobedient, bad-tempered, reckless, and quarrelsome.
He fought with a Turk at Yekmala, and got me into
trouble, and one of his first misdemeanours here was to
shoot the church doves, which are regarded as sacred,
thereby giving great offence to the Patriarch.
It is most difficult to get away. The Julamerik
muleteers are afraid of being robbed on the route I wish
to take, and none of them but a young Kurd will under-
take my loads, and though he arrived last night the
zaptiehs I applied for have failed me. They were to have
been here by daylight this morning, and the loads were
ready, but nine o'clock came without their appearance.
I wanted to take armed men from Kochanes, but Mar
Shimun said that twelve Christians would be no protec-
tion against the Kurds, and that I must not go without
a Government escort, so things were unpacked. Late
this evening, and after another messenger had been sent
to Julamerik, one zaptieh arrived with a message that
they could not spare more, and the people protest against
my leaving with such insufficient protection.
Another difficulty is the want of money. Owing to
the " boom " in silver in Persia, and the semi-panic which
prevailed, the utmost efforts of my friends in Urmi could
only obtain £10 for a £20 note, and this only in silver
mejidieks, a Turkish coin worth about 4s. As no money
is current in the villages change cannot be procured, and
on sending to Julamerik for small coins, only a very